Another trying website ‘for women’?

Yahoo! has launched into the internet another website purporting to be aimed at all women.

As you can tell from the logo, Shine borrows generously in style and content (and some of the editorial is literally cut and paste) from glossy women’s magazines. It makes liberal, if not offensively brash, use of the colour pink and other pastel shades. Not being a reader of those magazines, I couldn’t really tell you how similar it is in content, but suffice to say, typical items include advice about ‘wedding season’, weight loss and an interview with Kate Bosworth.

Like Jezebel, I find it a bit dull. Too dull to even click through onto many of the stories. It doesn’t speak to me, even if I am a woman between 25 and 54.

I think this is the problem, both with Shine and, well, pretty much everything aimed at women, generally, as a class. Women make up half the population. That makes for a huge amount of diversity, in age, job, background, taste in, well, everything, sexuality, wage, etc. No single magazine or website could rationally hope to address itself to women en masse, and any that attempts to do so inevitably makes irritating assumptions and gender stereotypes about what women are like.

What happens instead is that these magazines, etc, narrow down their audience. While purporting to be for ‘all women’, they in fact aim themselves squarely at a much smaller spectrum of women, often white, affluent enough to appeal to advertisers, straight, etc. But because they still claim to be aimed at half the population, they come across as exclusionary.

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